COUNCIL MINUTES –  OCTOBER 4, 2021

Jason GuinnCouncil Minutes

The Town Council of the Town of Steele, Alabama, met in Regular Session at 6:30 PM on Monday, October 4, 2021, at Steele Community Center. The following members were present:

Present:           Mayor Roger Adams

Richard Reynolds, Councilmember Michael Stevens, Councilmember Tammy Deweese, Councilmember Rick Barnes, Councilmember Philip Gleason Jr., Councilmember

The meeting was called to order at 6:30 pm by Mayor Adams, who then led everyone in a word of prayer.

The Town Council having read the minutes from the Regular Council Meeting on Monday, September 20, 2021; a motion was made by Councilmember Barnes to approve the minutes, seconded by Councilmember Deweese and approved by the Town Council.

 

Ayes: Stevens, Deweese, Barnes, Gleason Jr., and Reynolds. Nays: None.

 

The Town Council having read the minutes from the Special Called Council Meeting on Thursday, September 23, 2021; motion was made by Councilmember Barnes to approve the minutes, seconded by Councilmember Reynolds and approved by the Town Council.

 

Ayes: Stevens, Deweese, Barnes, Gleason Jr., and Reynolds. Nays: None.

 

Mrs. Kelly Peoples, Principal at Steele School was present at the Council Meeting to discuss landscaping of the school. She stated that she would like to replace some landscaping at the school, to make the outside appearance look better. She would like to install some evergreen shrubs that would look good all year. She received a quote of $3,100.00

from Chase Bowlin Lawn Care to tear out the old landscaping, lay fabric down to keep out weeds, and to plant new plants in the front of the school. Councilmember Barnes asked if she would consider a workday to save some cost on the replacement of landscaping. Mrs. Peoples stated that she would be very open to that as well as any help.  Mayor Adams asked if this is the area between the building and the road where the children load and unload, and Mrs. Peoples replied yes it is. Councilmember Barnes stated that he would help get the word out on a workday, and asked Mrs. Peoples if she would like to come back for the next council meeting and see what remains to be done. Mrs. Peoples stated that she would be available to do that. Councilmember Barnes suggested that it be tabled until the next Council meeting.

 

Nancy Miller-Borg was present at the Council Meeting and presented a Proclamation naming Alabama Farm-City Week 2021 to be considered for adoption. Alabama has a farm city group statewide, and Mrs. Miller-Borg is involved with the St. Clair County

 

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Mayor Adams stated that the Rebuild Alabama Act is accepting applications again, and asked if the Council wanted to re-submit the Lakeview Street project for funding?.

Councilmember Barnes stated that yes, he would like to resubmit the project. Mayor Adams stated he would need to check with Civil Consultants Engineering Firm, who did the quote, and submission last year. Mayor Adams stated that there might be a small charge to cover the shipping of the plans.

 

Mayor Adams submitted the Budget Proposal for Fiscal Year 2022. He stated that in this budget there is a wage increase for all full-time town employees. He stated that this budget includes a 75-cent increase for all employees, except for the Town Clerk, which would receive a $1.00 due to the agreement made when she was hired of $1.00. 75% of the Town Clerk’s salary is paid by Town and 25%  is paid by Water Board.  Councilmember Reynolds stated that this is a $31,000 increase from the previous year’s budget.

Councilmember Barnes stated that there was a motion made two meetings ago that the Council could not vote on or pass a budget until the wage and pay schedule was voted on. Mayor Adams stated that the wage and pay scale could still be passed but he isfeels that this budget needs to be passed. Councilmember Reynolds stated that Mayor Adams is suggesting that the wage and pay scale still continue to be worked on but that this proposed budget needs to be passed for the fiscal year 2022. Mayor Adams stated that this budget is based on 90% of projected revenue. If revenue increases, then the budget can be amended.

Councilmember Gleason Jr., asked about the budget for the Parks and Recreation Department. He asked about the budget for July 4th event, stating that this year $6,000 was spent for fireworks, and $6,000 was spent on other activities for this event. Mayor Adams made a motion that the Council adopt the proposed budget for fiscal year 2022, seconded by Reynolds. The budget did not pass, voting was as follows:

 

Ayes: Reynolds, and Adams

Nays: Stevens, Gleason Jr., Deweese, and  Barnes

 

Mayor Adams brought up the roof and dock repairs on Peppy’s. He stated that he received a quote of $700 to remove the vent and fix the area where it is installed.

Councilmember  Barnes stated that the Council has a responsibility to maintain the building for the Town’s tenants. Mayor Adams stated that the quote to fix the roof on the dock area was $30,000. The Mayor asked the Council if anyone knew of a company that could give us a quote for the dock roof. He stated that he would see if he could get another quote for the repairs.

 

Works Board made the Council aware of Water Board expenses that need funding . He

American Rescue Plan Fund projected expenses have to be reported by October 31·2021. The information has to be submitted through the portal on the US Treasury website on how the Town will be spending the money. Councilmember Barnes stated that it was discussed at the last meeting and referenced the spreadsheet that was made available at the last Council meeting. Of the total of  $129,000; the Sewer System would receive 29% of the rescue money, this would be for engineering and design and some electrical work. The Council had also discussed doing a one-time payment to employees, which would be $1,000 (after taxes) for all full-time employees. The total cost for this one-time pay would be $16,800, which is 13.02% of the funds. Darrell Deweese, Chairman of the Town of Steele Water

 

 

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Mayor Adams asked the Council their thoughts about spending the NARP funds. He stated that his opinion is that it be used for sewer and water. Councilmember Barnes stated that he is comfortable with the numbers that he presented. Mayor Adams made a motion that the North American Rescue Plan Funds be used for water and sewer. The motion died for lack of a second. Councilmember Barnes made a motion that the NARP funds are sent as follows: 13% employee one time wage, 29% sewer and 58% water as percentages to be entered into for the NARP funds. The motion was seconded by Councilmember Stevens, and approved as follows:

 

Ayes: Stevens, Deweese, Barnes, Gleason Jr., and Reynolds. Nays: Mayor Adams

 

Chief Martin included his call report for the month. He stated that the Fire Department ran 34 calls last month.

 

Chief Ward stated that Officer Whitt Burttram needed a new laptop for his patrol car, as his had crashed. Councilmember Deweese made a motion to approve the purchase of a laptop for Officer Burttram at the cost of $549.99, seconded by Councilmember Stevens and approved by the Council.

 

Ayes: Stevens, Deweese, Barnes, Gleason Jr., and Reynolds. Nays:             None

 

Councilmember  Reynolds stated that there is someone that is interested in Ruby’s position as Senior Center  Director.  This person who stated that she would like the job, and is asking for $9.75 an hour, 29 hours a week. She has stated that she cannot make more than that due to her drawing a check for disability. After discussion, the Council agreed that the job needed to be posted, applications received and it would be discussed further at the next Council Meeting.

 

Councilmember Deweese stated that National Night Out will be held on Tuesday, October 12, 2021. She stated that drinks, hotdogs, chips, and cookies will be provided. The St.

Clair County SWAT Team, Fire Department, Police Department, and the Pink fire truck will be there.

 

Councilmember Deweese stated that Crossmark Pest Control, a local Pest Control Company has submitted a bid to provide pest control for the Town. They would provide the same services as the current contract and at the same price that we are paying now.

 

Councilmember Deweese stated that Trunk or Treat, will be held on Saturday, October 3ot, 2021. Mayor Adams stated that he will be going to Sam’s Club this week and can purchase candy. Councilmember  Barnes  made a motion  to approve the mayor  purchasing candy  at a cost not to exceed $500.00, seconded by Councilmember Gleason Jr., and approved by the

 

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Councilmember Barnes made a motion to approve the wage and pay scale as presented at the last work session. Mayor Adams asked if these are percentage raises. Councilmember Barnes stated that yes, they are percentage raises but they are merit raises based on performance. The motion was seconded by Councilmember Deweese, and approved as follows: The Wage and Pay scale will be adopted on November 1, 2021.

 

Ayes: Stevens, Deweese, Barnes, and Gleason Jr. Nays: Reynolds and Adams

 

Councilmember Barnes asked about a line item in the audit which is the tax abatement amount of $48,000.00. Darrell Deweese, Chairman of the Industrial Development Board was present and explained that when a company wants to expand they go through a process for approval for tax abatement.

 

Councilmember Reynolds stated that he is turning in his resignation tonight due to health reasons. His resignation will be effective when this meeting is adjourned. He stated that he appreciated the town but feels that it is time for him to step down. Mayor Adams stated that he is shocked and disappointed to hear that as Councilmember Reynolds has been a great asset to this Town and this Community, many times doing things that go on-noticed.

 

With there being no further business to come before this regular Council Meeting of October 4, 2021, Councilmember Barnes made a motion to adjourn the meeting.

Adjourned at 8:30 PM.

 

The next Regularly Scheduled Council Meeting will be held on Monday, October 18, 2021.